National Oil Well Varco, LP v. Sadagopan et al
ORDER entered: In their briefing on personal jurisdiction, the parties should advise about the appropriate adverse inference the court may draw from the withheld bank statements, and the impact of the inference on the personal jurisdiction analysis and findings. (Signed by Chief Judge Lee H Rosenthal) Parties notified.(leddins, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
NATIONAL OIL WELL VARCO, L.P.,
MAJED HAMDAN, and
January 24, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. H-16-2261
At a hearing on January 6, 2017, the court ordered the defendants to produce unredacted
bank statements for attorneys’ eyes only, with the additional protection that the documents would
not be disclosed to the plaintiff’s in-house counsel or Dubai counsel. (Docket Entry No. 42). The
defendants informed the court that Mr. Zantout has complied with the court’s order. Mr. Sadagopan
and Mr. Hamdan refuse, citing concerns that the plaintiff will use the documents in related litigation
pending in Dubai.
The amended scheduling order for briefing and oral argument on personal jurisdiction,
Docket Entry No. 39, remains in effect. Mr. Zantout has complied with the court’s order, and there
is no cause to delay ruling on the court’s personal jurisdiction as to him. As to Mr. Sadagopan and
Mr. Hamdan, their refusal to produce the records, despite ample measures to protect their
confidentiality, does not preclude this court’s decision on personal jurisdiction or require a change
in the scheduling order. As to them, “a form of adverse inference instruction is warranted to level
the evidentiary playing field and sanction the improper conduct” of refusing to produce despite the
protections the court provided to address their concerns. Rimkus Consulting Grp. v. Cammarata,
688 F.Supp.2d 598, 645 (S.D. Tex. 2010) (citing Russell v. Univ. of Tex. of the Permian Basin, 234
F.App’x 195, 207 (5th Cir. 2007) (unpublished); Turner v. Pub. Serv. Co. of Colo., 563 F.3d 1136,
1149 (10th Cir. 2009). In their briefing on personal jurisdiction, the parties should advise about the
appropriate adverse inference the court may draw from the withheld bank statements, and the impact
of the inference on the personal jurisdiction analysis and findings.
SIGNED on January 24, 2017, at Houston, Texas.
Lee H. Rosenthal
Chief United States District Judge
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